Mr. Mercedes is a novel by the king of horror — Stephen King. It is a story about an unlikely band of heroes and their quest to take down a sadistic serial killer.
The story opens to a large group of jobless folks standing in line at a job fair. Horror strikes the group as a Mercedes runs through the crowd in a brutal massacre that kills everyone, including a young mom and her baby.
Detective Bill Hodges (Ret Det as the killer calls him), has recently retired. He was lead detective on the Mercedes Killer case but due to the fact that there were no fresh leads and the owner of the car committed suicide, the case soon went cold. Until he retired, that is.
In steps the Mercedes Killer. He taunts the retired Detective in a game of cat and mouse. Ret Det Bill Hodges knows that he must try and stay one step ahead of the killer in order to prevent the next mass killing.
As in all of Stephen King’s novels, the character development is excellent. Initially, I wasn’t a huge fan of the main character, retired Detective Hodges. He seemed sad and resigned to spend the rest of his days watching Judge Judy in a recliner. He toyed with thoughts of suicide. He seemed one step away from a heart attack. He seemed out matched with the Mercedes Killer. Then, King managed to change my mind. Half way through the book, I began to see Hodges in a different light.
As Detective Hodges sets out to unofficially investigate the Mercedes Killer case once more, he makes some unusual allies along the way. My favorite part of the story was getting to know some of the other key players and how they folded into the storyline and became the allies and heroes they ended up being.
This book is written in King’s usual style but doesn’t deal with the usual supernatural subject matter. Still, it is a really good book and worth the read!
For me personally, it wasn’t a book that I couldn’t put down (like 11/22/63) and I did get bored / struggle through some parts of the beginning of the book as the characters were fleshed out and some back stories told. The characters themselves weren’t interesting (except for maybe the Mercedes Killer) but they became interesting as the story unfolded. I’m not an avid King reader and i’m not used to his style yet, so maybe that’s why. This marks the second Stephen King book that I have read as I am slowly delving into his work.
My Rating for Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (really this is more like 3-1/2 stars. I think I need to make a graphic for that):